I had a quick chance to play a game of Talisman with just two players.
The reason I carried the many kilograms of expansion sets almost four hundred kilometres is that I wanted to play at least once with the Nether Realm before Woodlands expansion comes around. So, we played with The Hunt alternative ending, where you needed to collect four Nether Realm monster cards face down and reach Crown of Command first to win.
Characters we got were Tinkerer and Spy.
Both characters got quite amazing start - almost every card drawn was beneficial somehow. Spy in fact got such a bucketload of magic objects that he had to visit the alchemist in city and turn them to gold. Though he kept the magic wand and a bottle that could enslave any spirits or elementals he encountered.
Tinkerer, on the other hand, had plenty of friends. His friends included the Axe, who's advice was always welcome. There was also the Walking Treasure Map (which wasn't so successful) and once Tinkerer went to the Highlands, he found many jewels that whispered disturbing ideas to Tinkerer's head. Oh, and the sentient Winter Oil was an ingenious invention.
The fact that Tinkerer doesn't have any object - all object become followers instead - is quite amazing. He was completely immune to any effects that removed objects, and whenever some cards was drawn that did harm to followers, he just could draw a new one instead by discarding one follower.
Spy had a promising start, but somewhere along the way bad luck started following him. He missed turns in almost regular basis, and didn't draw any more good items, and no enemies. He did complete one Warlock's Quest and pastoral tunes brought a Warhorse for him.
Tinkerer managed to steal Spy's brass bottle and magic wand, and due to a miscalculation of odds he lost his Warhorse, too. I guess brass bottle found winter oil's eyes very beautiful, and magic wand had lively conversations with the four-clover leaf.
Too late Spy started to gain a lot of Craft, enough to try to race to Crown of Command. Late? Well, Tinkerer was already inside the Inner Region. The only possibility Spy had was to go and beat Eagle King, get Arnkell and Talisman somehow, enter Plain of Peril and then jump straight to Valley of Fire. It was a long stretch, but sometimes amazing things happen. Like the Vagabond starting a never-ending tale that Spy just had to stop listening every second turn (Vagabond makes you instantly lose the rest of your turn when you roll 1 for movement.)
Tinkerer had seventeen followers when he won the game.